Abnormal Morphogenesis But Intact IKK Activation in Mice Lacking the IKKα Subunit of IκB Kinase

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Science  09 Apr 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5412, pp. 316-320
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5412.316

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The oligomeric IκB kinase (IKK) is composed of three polypeptides: IKKα and IKKβ, the catalytic subunits, and IKKγ, a regulatory subunit. IKKα and IKKβ are similar in structure and thought to have similar function—phosphorylation of the IκB inhibitors in response to proinflammatory stimuli. Such phosphorylation leads to degradation of IκB and activation of nuclear factor κB transcription factors. The physiological function of these protein kinases was explored by analysis of IKKα-deficient mice. IKKα was not required for activation of IKK and degradation of IκB by proinflammatory stimuli. Instead, loss of IKKα interfered with multiple morphogenetic events, including limb and skeletal patterning and proliferation and differentiation of epidermal keratinocytes.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: karinoffice{at}

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